DI Ray’s Jamie Bamber pays tribute to ITV co-star Always a privilege
DI Ray official first look trailer from ITV
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Last week, viewers tuned in to watch ITV’s latest cop drama DI Ray, which was written and produced by Line of Duty actress Maya and creator Jed. The four-part series saw DI Rachita Ray (played by Parminder Nagra) join the homicide team to solve a mysterious murder. However, the detective wasn’t warmly greeted by her colleagues as the drama touched upon racism in the workplace.
However, in a new interview with Express.co.uk and other press, Jed and Maya discussed the importance of the drama and what they are hoping to achieve.
Maya admitted she really wanted to highlight casual racism because of what she experienced growing up.
She began: “It’s casual racism, it kind of the everyday stuff that I just got used to.
“I just got used to it because it was so normal [and so] I normalised it and then actually when you stop to think about it, you think it’s not actually okay.”
She continued: “And to have been living it for so long and so many people [who] live that and we kind of just forgive it, and that started to get me angry now that I’m older.”
Maya explained as she was growing up, she felt a lot of guilt and shame about her race because she wasn’t sure where she fitted in.
The Line of Duty star went on to add there was no one who represented her on the television, and so, with DI Ray she wanted to do that.
“I’ve grown up kind of not fitting [in] because when I was born in 1983, I didn’t really see me anywhere on telly. There was no representation really and so I wanted to be white because I thought you fit in then, right?” Maya recalled.
“But then I felt really guilty because I wasn’t fitting in with the Indians either,” she added.
“And my parents stopped speaking Hindi and Punjabi to me around age three or four, so now I can understand [the language] but I can’t speak it and that’s another guilty feeling for me.
“So I think guilt and identity are really linked and I wanted to really explore that with this [DI Ray].”
The actor who played DCI Martyn Hunter went on to praise Maya and Jed for highlighting such an important issue.
Paying a tribute to the duo, Jamie said: “That’s the one thing I’d say about Maya’s writing that I think is so impactful because it doesn’t bash you over the head.
“I’m not of South Indian heritage, I’m not from Birmingham, but when I read this story…I don’t have the same experiences that you guys had growing up in a different culture.
“I think there’s a tendency for us to think that we have been educated, we’ve come through a process over the last 20 to 30 years and for us to understand that it’s these little moments that seem sort of an innocuous thing, and that’s really important to bring that to a broader audience.
“And as you’ve all said, to dress it within a thriller genre that everyone responds to and everyone loves.”
“But when you’re actually educating people softly I think it has a massive effect,” the actor praised.
“Plus I’ve got to say working for an actor-writer is always a privilege, I mean that sincerely.
“You know, I’m an actor first and foremost, but I love the idea that we have more to offer and so I’m always delighted to be involved with someone who’s forging ahead in a different part as well.”
Speaking about Jed, Jamie added: “Thrillers are great, thrillers are fun and you know, Jed does the best thrillers on TV so that’s a massive plus point when you’re on a phone call from your agent, that’s a big thing.”
DI Ray is available to watch on the ITV Hub.
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